Way back in October, just before we left Berlin, we took a trip to Copenhagen to visit some friends and attend a rather extravagant, but very, very wonderful meal. The plan to eat at Noma had been hatched way back in January when we all attended the Arztkammer Ball in Vienna. At the time it seemed like a dream with little certainty of becoming a reality.  The steps involved in even getting a reservation seem daunting enough (a phone call placed between 10am-12pm on a prescribed day, three months ahead of your desired booking). Then there were the practicalities of getting to Denmark, the question of what to do with one (and then two) new babies and for some of us at least there was the question of whether it was really that good anyway.  But we did manage to get a booking and since we all (yes, all four!) were on parental leave we could easily accommodate the midweek lunch booking we were offered.
And so we went and ate at the best restaurant in the world.  Was it the best meal of my life? Probably not. But it was wonderful. A true performance.  It was like watching a first-class ballet or opera the way the waiters and chefs danced around the room from table to table explaining their creations and encouraging the guests (us!) to enjoy good food prepared with love and an attention to detail found in few other kitchens.
Noma Kitchen
If I had one criticism it would be that some of the dishes were just a little bit gimicky. The live (chilled) baby shrimp I could have done without and while it was great fun to cook one of the dishes ourselves (egg fried in hay infused oil cooked on hot plates at the table), it did, in the end taste a lot like a home-cooked fried egg. Fun, but not exactly haut cuisine.  But everything else was fantastic - they didn't blink when we arrived with a newborn (who slept the whole time - bless her), the service was spot-on without being stuffy, we giggled with the waiters, enjoyed wonderful company and we left full and all glad that we'd all made the effort. And really that's what good meals are all about, aren't they?


5 months

5 months
Another month seems to have whooshed by without me feeling like I've had a chance to draw breath.  Five months, can it really be?  Somewhere in the haze of this month we seem to have got ourselves back into a rhythm of sorts. Slowly, but surely, eight calls for 'room service' overnight became six and then four and then two. I had grand plans of Emilia sleeping through the night when she cracked that magic 6kg mark, but after having got to the other side of what felt like a marathon of hourly (!) wake-up calls I'm happy with my two calls a night. Two I can handle. Two is sanity.

And with more sleep comes more time to play.  More giggles, more tummy time and some very determined (but not yet successful) attempts to roll.  Any day now she's going to muster up the courage to move her legs just that little bit further and let herself roll.  Any day now she'll be starting to move. 

5 Months

Emilia at: four months, three months, two months, one month


Christmas Treats

Christmas making-1.jpg
I have been itching to make things for Christmas for weeks now. If my sewing machine and box of crafty treasures was with me and not in some container somewhere on the Pacific Ocean I'd have perhaps made something like this for our fireplace or a few of these for our Christmas tree. I might even have made a stocking for E and some little boxes for storing her toys. But such lofty goals will have to wait for next year. This year it's all about simple.

**A note to my family: If you think you might be getting a stocking present from me this year and still want it to be a surprise on Christmas Day, don't read any more!**

Christmas making-2.jpg
Some Christmas paper, bought on the mandatory "new home" trip to Ikea.

Christmas making-3.jpg
Cut and pasted onto old jam jars filled with a Christmas inspired granola, based on this recipe here

Christmas making-5.jpg
And because you're never too young to start enjoying the making and creating that comes with Christmas, some labels, made by E (with a lot of help from her Mama) inspired by this post here.

Christmas making-15.jpg
All culminating in some very delicious, but oh so simple, homemade Christmas-y goodness ready to be sprinkled onto yogurts, fruit and other breakfast-y kind of things on Christmas Day.

Christmas making-12.jpg



There was a time when we worried that she wasn't gaining enough weight. It seemed that everything she drank (and sometimes more) ended up being thrown right back up.  Everyone had an opinion. Too much milk. Too little milk. Wrong feeding position. I should drink more of x and less of y. Eat this but definitely not that. Mostly we just ignored all the advice and got on with being us. Eating, sleeping, playing and in amongst it all plenty of posseting with frequent clothes changes for us all.  And you know what? She's doing alright. Right now she's our rolly-polly dick-sie Maedchen.  There's a small part of me that would like to send these photos to all the well-meaning do-gooders who suggested I/she/we were doing something wrong.

Perhaps I just have.



After a week of cold weather the sun finally came out to play this weekend. We ventured out to Gunaroo, a small town a short drive from Canberra. Apparently it's where all the cool-kids from Canberra go to play on the weekend.  E slept there, charmed the socks of everyone while we ate our pizza and then slept on the way home.  We declared the afternoon a success.


Round Here

The move, from Berlin to my parents in Melbourne and then up to Canberra has been gruelling. Turns out that babies don't "do" change very well and my sweet, sweet girl has been giving us the round around.  I've had a few people ask me where I am. I'm here but at the moment all my physical and emotional energy is going into E. In amongst the nursing, rocking, feeding, shh-ing and playing (yes, there's a bit of that too) I've been etching out some time to work on a jumper that I'm knitting for my Dad. A line here, a line there it's slow going but with worsted weight wool it knits up relatively quickly making me feel like at least I'm achieving something.

We're still without furniture but I have plans for a few simple Christmas decorations that I might share here if I get the time. Oh, and I also recently won a knitting book, Bambeanies from Wooly Wormhead, which even contains a hat named Emilia. Yep, I plan to share that one with you here too. When I get the time.


Then and Now

1st Christmas
One of the great things about living back at Mum and Dad's while we've been waiting to move into our new home has been discovering lots of old bits and pieces that Mum has saved from when my sisters and I were growing up.  Turns out that babies needs haven't changed that much in the intervening years and little E has been having a great time playing with all our old stuff. Check out the then and now picture of me and Emilia at about the same age playing with the rolly-polly Clown. I'd like to say that we look 'just the same' but really, Emilia is still Papa's girl in the looks department.
Melbourne Nov2011-108.jpg
Life is still pretty topsy-turvy around here. If the rain ever stops pouring, tomorrow we'll be packing up the trailer and driving up the Hume Highway. The keys to our new place will be ready for picking up Monday morning. It'll be nice to be our of our suitcases finally and into our new place. I already have grand plans for putting our stamp on our new pad, including (I hope) the planting of a vegie garden and maybe, perhaps, even some chooks!


Back in Oz

So, yes. We've moved back to Australia. It's something that I've been dreaming about for such a long time but I was never quite sure it was going to be possible. There seemed to be so many obstacles; jobs needed to be found and visas applied for, not to mention the uneviable task of finding a new house and the logistical challenges of moving across the world with a 4 month old baby.  It all just seemed too hard. And then it happened. Just. Like. That. 

Well that's how it seemed anyway. In truth it was many months in the making. Matthias and I actually applied for our jobs way back when I was still pregnant. But these things always take longer than you think and we sat around wondering whether it was going to become a reality until the end of October. And then we were offered jobs and a few days later Matthias' visa came through and we looked at our diaries and said, "Well, really, the most logical thing is to be in Australia in three weeks". Yes, we really did say that. And truthfully even if it was not the most logical choice there is something to be said for doing these things fast. Moving is never fun and perhaps if we'd had more time we would have procastinated more and had boxes and endless 'to do' lists floating around for ages. When you move in two weeks there's no time to 'umm and ahh' about whether you keep your sister's ex-boyfriend's crappy birthday gift (it got ditched) or your 'Boston winter coat' (kept). You make decisions fast. You pack up and you leave.

And now we're here. Temporarily calling my parent's spare bedroom home.
Emilia 4 months-4.jpg
In case you're wondering, Emilia coped splendedly with the flight right up until about the 18 hour mark. Like almost everyone she'd had enough. She screamed pretty much solidly for the next six hours with intermittent bouts of sleeping on my shoulder, whimpering as she slept. One week on she's still jetlagged. If anyone has any tips on curing baby jetlag I'd love to hear them.


Four months

Emilia 4 months-22.jpg
A lot can happen in a month...

You can find your hands.
You can take a big breath and turn something you've been dreaming about into a reality.
You can learn to stick fingers in mouths and laugh when you make yourself choke.
You can pack up a house.
You can buy flights and hope that your little girl will be a good traveller.
You can find your voice and delight your parents with your 'talking'.
You can say goodbye to two years of memories, two years of friends and a European winter.
You can meet two aunties for the first time.
You can spend 30 hours in airports and airplanes and fall, jetlagged, into the arms of a waiting family.
You can say Hello Australia!.. Home for the next little while.

Yep, it's been a big month. Too big for blogging. Too many decisions and plans and then boxes and suitcases and goodbyes and hellos and in amongst it all our little girl has been growing into a big baby with a voice and hands and a strong personality bursting to get out.

I've missed this space. I'll be back. Soon.

Emilia 4 months-11.jpg



I'm a good sleeper. Really good. So good in fact that I'm probably a little too good. On a bad night it takes me five minutes to get to sleep. On a good night, I'm asleep almost before my head hits the pillow. I've even been known to fall asleep mid-conversation, at the dinner table and once, just once, while standing up listening to a midnight mass. I was the girl at uni who always fell asleep in class. When the sleep-bug hits I'm a goner.  It's safe to say I have very little understanding of the difficulties some people have in getting to sleep. 
 But I am learning, and quickly. Emilia is sleep resistant.  Catch her at the right time and it takes half an hour for her to calmly and quietly drift off to sleep.  And this is after she's been fed, changed, swaddled, given her sleep toy, has her dummy and has her Mama or Papa sitting quietly by her side.
I kind of feel sorry for the kid. Kind of. A little bit. Although there are times when I'm reminded of that book by Adam Mansbach.  You can listen to Samuel L. Jackson narrating it here. It'll make you laugh, particularly if you're just a little bit sleep deprived.


Sud Kunstpark

Sometimes in the most unexpected places you find curious things. Like this Artpark, tucked away in a remote and very small village in the Austrian countryside. The name is as much of an enigma as the works within - there is no north, east or west Artpark to speak of. If you were geographically minded you might argue that the park sits at the southern tip of the village, but geography has never been my strong suite so I really couldn't say. Anyway, there it is, nestled between the forest and the vineyards, a curious collection of bright, whimsical sculptural pieces by a Canadian artist.  You might also wonder what a Canadian artist is doing in southern Burgenland but that, again, would be something I couldn't answer. 
So with very little explanation other than the little I have said above, I give you the artwork. I loved almost every piece. Some made me smile, a few made me giggle. The man in the second photo only began to relieve himself when you stood within a few metres of him. Fun to see a group of adults regressing into 5 year olds when the question of wee comes up. Poo and wee jokes never really get old, do they?


But I think this little girl was my favourite of the lot. I've forgotten the title now, but it was something along the lines of "dirt in eye". There was a small amount of moss growing on her gumboots from her constant crying which somehow added to the whole piece. And I just love her posture and the position of her feet. The artist got it just right.


3 months

Emilia - 3 months-1.jpg
Yesterday Emilia celebrated her three month anniversary with a trip to the doctor for her regular check-up and second lot of vaccinations. Apart from screaming loudly enough that even the doctor commented on her "healthy lungs" she coped with the whole ordeal suprisingly well and at this stage of the developmental game she's tall and lean.
She's also turning out to be a bit of a people person, flirting with everyone who passes by, listening to coversations, cooing and ahhing and giggling at anyone who cares to listen. Doesn't care much about anything else though. Toys? Boring really. Hands? Why bother when you can manipulate your dummy (pacifier) with the flick of your tongue. Milk? Overrated when you can listen to a conversation instead.
Emilia - 3 months-3.jpg

Emilia through the months:
- See here for her one week4 week and 2 months photos.


Off the Needles

Off the needles... well, mostly anyway.
Autumn Hat
This little hat, the Organic Beanie by Mel Clark was initially destined to be a 'welcome baby' gift. It travelled down to Burgenland with me and was quickly finished and ready to be wrapped up and given away but fate had other plans. It somehow never made it to the present wrapping stage, morphing instead into Emilia's go-to hat to keep the chilly winds at bay. The pattern is a great little, quick knit. Simple and the options are endless once you start playing around with the accent colours, as it's Ravelry page shows.
Garter stitch Kimono
I also managed to finish this Garter stitch Kimono on the train back to Berlin from Burgenland. I was a little worried that the self-striping sock yarn wouldn't look very good on the v-neck and I'm still not sure that it was really that great a choice of yarns.  It's old sock yarn from my stash that I was keen to use up and, really, at this end of the year it's warmth that counts. Right?  The buttons also came from my Op-shop button stash so all-in-all a very cheap baby gift for little Baby G.
Fair Isle Gloves
And finally, mittens for me. The first one has been finished for a few weeks now, but it took a chilly evening playing backgammon outside at our favourite Arabic Cafe before I realised that the time for gloves will be quickly upon us and really, it'd be a shame not to give the left mitten a mate.  Plus the pattern is quite addictive. The rounds are quick and the patter materialises before your eyes. Yup, happy knitting days are upon us now that the days are shorter and just a little bit chillier.




This is where we were for the last two weeks. Matthias' parents house in Burgenland, southern Austria. Seriously we couldn't have asked for better weather. Sunny every single day; beautiful, gentle Autumn sun, perfect for soft baby skin and not-as-soft, but just as white, Mama-Bear skin too! While the farmers around us were busy from dawn until well into the night harvesting, we got busy with the art of relaxing - lots of eating, drinking and resting after a busy few months.
Don't believe everything you see - that angelic babe was a bit of a rotter when it came to sleeping in her new (Oma rescued) antique crib and decided, mostly, that it was much more fun to hang out with the adults in her baby-carrier. But amongst the rocking of one little girl to sleep we did find time to enjoy the seasons harvest, eating sun-warmed grapes straight from the vines, searching for the first of the blackberries and picking apples off the side of the road for delicious Apple Strudel and other yummy things.

Yep, it was a pretty good couple of weeks.